Ch 4: UExcel Sociology: Foundations of Society

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons, and learn about social interaction case studies and theories as well as cultural and societal analysis. The quizzes that follow each of the lessons can help you gauge your comprehension of the materials.

Foundations of Society - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

The video lessons in this Foundations of Society chapter are designed to familiarize learners with various cultural norms and elements. They highlight topics such as popular cultures, subcultures and socialization agents. After you have watched the lessons in this chapter, you should have a greater understanding of:

  • The different kinds of social roles
  • The differences between material and non-material culture
  • The results of social isolation case studies
  • The number of cultures that exist globally

Video Objective
What is Culture? - Material and Non-Material Culture Learn the differences between societies, nations and cultures.
Elements of Culture: Explanation of the Major Elements that Define Culture Discover the importance of symbols, language and values in culture.
Cultural Subsets: High Culture, Popular Culture, Subculture, Counterculture and Multiculturalism Learn more about these cultural subsets.
Perceptions of Culture: Ideal Culture and Real Culture, Ethnocentrism and Culture Relativism Define and explain the differences between these types of culture.
Cultural Analysis: Theoretical Approaches Explore aspects of sociobiology, social-conflict theory and structural-functional theory.
How Technology Affects Global and Local Cultures Examine the global and local effects of technology.
Socialization and Social Isolation: Definition and Case Studies Determine the importance of socialization. Also, discuss the differences between socialization and social isolation.
Agents of Socialization: Family, Schools, Peers and Media Discuss the various means through which people become socialized.
Socialization Through the Life Course Explain how childhood events could have lifelong consequences.
Social Interaction Theory: Ascribed, Achieved and Master Status Explore the role of each type of status.
Social Roles: Definition and Types of Social Roles Learn about topics such as role set, role exit, role conflict and role strain.
Social Constructionism: Definition and Theory Explore the theory of symbolic interactionism.
Presentation of Self: Methods of Presenting the Self Learn about performing gender, nonverbal communication, idealization and performances.

13 Lessons in Chapter 4: UExcel Sociology: Foundations of Society
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What Is Culture? - Material and Nonmaterial Culture

1. What Is Culture? - Material and Nonmaterial Culture

Culture is a huge topic of study for sociologists. In this lesson, we define culture and distinguish between material and nonmaterial culture. As culture, nation, and society are often used interchangeably, we also distinguish between these three concepts.

Elements of Culture: Explanation of the Major Elements That Define Culture

2. Elements of Culture: Explanation of the Major Elements That Define Culture

Culture combines many elements to create a unique way of living for different people. In this lesson, we identify four of the elements that exist in every culture, albeit in different forms: symbols, language, values, and norms. We also differentiate between folkways and mores.

Cultural Subsets: High Culture, Popular Culture, Subculture, Counterculture & Multiculturalism

3. Cultural Subsets: High Culture, Popular Culture, Subculture, Counterculture & Multiculturalism

In this lesson, we identify several categories of cultures that can exist within a large culture. We define and discuss subcultures, high culture versus popular culture, and countercultures. We also discuss the view of multiculturalism in the U.S.

Perceptions of Culture: Ideal Culture and Real Culture, Ethnocentrism, & Culture Relativism

4. Perceptions of Culture: Ideal Culture and Real Culture, Ethnocentrism, & Culture Relativism

The way we perceive culture - both our own and that of others - is affected by many things. In this lesson, we define and discuss the difference between perceptions of ideal culture and real culture. We also examine ethnocentrism and compare it to the idea of culture relativism.

Cultural Analysis: Theoretical Approaches

5. Cultural Analysis: Theoretical Approaches

In this lesson, we cover three theoretical approaches used by sociologists to analyze culture: structural-functional theory, social-conflict theory, and sociobiology. We define and discuss each theory, along with examples.

How Technology Affects Global & Local Cultures

6. How Technology Affects Global & Local Cultures

The following lesson will discuss the effects that technology has both on a global and local scale. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.

Socialization and Social Isolation: Definition & Case Studies

7. Socialization and Social Isolation: Definition & Case Studies

Interestingly, socialization seems to be the process that makes us act human. Here, we define socialization and discuss its importance to human development. We also contrast it to social isolation and discuss several case studies regarding what happens when humans don't or can't socialize.

Agents of Socialization: Family, Schools, Peers and Media

8. Agents of Socialization: Family, Schools, Peers and Media

The socialization that we receive in childhood has a lasting effect on our ability to interact with others in society. In this lesson, we identify and discuss four of the most influential agents of socialization in childhood: family, school, peers, and media.

Socialization Through the Life Course

9. Socialization Through the Life Course

Socialization is a lifelong process. People must acquire the skills needed to function in society. They continue to acquire these skills throughout their lives. This lesson explains socialization throughout the life course.

Social Interaction Theory: Ascribed, Achieved & Master Status

10. Social Interaction Theory: Ascribed, Achieved & Master Status

In this lesson, we discuss social interaction theory, putting particular emphasis on the concept of social statuses. We identify and define several types of statuses, including ascribed, achieved, and master status.

Social Roles: Definition and Types of Social Roles

11. Social Roles: Definition and Types of Social Roles

This lesson focuses on the roles that society socially constructs. We define social roles and identify examples. We also examine types of social roles and what can happen with them, including role conflict, role strain, and role exit.

Social Constructionism: Definition and Theory

12. Social Constructionism: Definition and Theory

Social constructionism means that our realities are shaped through our experiences and our interactions with others. This lesson explains social constructionism and its connection to symbolic interactionism.

Presentation of Self: Methods to Presenting The Self

13. Presentation of Self: Methods to Presenting The Self

All of us like to present ourselves to others as someone who is likable and successful. In this lesson, we discuss the concept of dramaturgical analysis as proposed by Erving Goffman. We also talk about the practice of idealization and how nonverbal communication can sometimes sabotage our presentation efforts.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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